Nurses.... Our Own Worst Enemies?? - page 2
I keep reading all the messages posted by everyone in this forum and I have to just keep asking myself... how much of the nursing shortage problems are being caused by nurses themselves?? I feel... Read More
Sep 18, '01Wow... and thank you P_RN. Until I read your last message, I was honestly never coming back on this site again! I cannot believe some of the responses my post got.... I have been so upset all day that I was beginning to question my abilities!
But, then I have to remember that these replies are from faceless people that I have never met. I am a good manager. I know that and the people that I work with know that. That is all that matters, I guess.
I am somewhat relieved that some of the nurses who have posted on here today do not work for me, however... although, if they did, they would have a whole different outlook, I can assure you.
I have never felt so attacked over an opinion. There sure was a whole lot of things read into my posting. I am sorry for that.
I do care. I care about the residents of my facility and I care for the people who work for me at the facility. I do not rule with an iron hand. The nurses are my family and friends. I cherish them more than most of them even realize. None of you know that. None of you know the amount of time I spend every day listening to everyone else's problems and concerns. None of you know the number of nights I lay awake trying to solve all the problems of the day. None of you know me at all!! I owe none of you anything.
I do my job and I do my job well. I am proud of the job that I do. I am committed to doing my best.
I am actually sitting here thinking... what am I doing?? Why do I feel it necessary to even explain this to these people?? Well, it is because I do care... I do care what others think of me and how I do my job. I don't think that is a bad thing, do you?
I am sorry I upset a few people on here. I thought this would be a great place to make a statement, to express my feelings. But, now I know better. I will keep my "immature" statements to myself from now on.
This is the end of my story... I am sure there are many that are thankful for that, eh?
Love & peace to all... Tim
Sep 18, '01I honestly believe that I was trying to explain to Tim why a nurse might want to come here and blow off steam (and, I think if you work in the "helping" professions, steam does need to BE blown off periodically), get some advice w/ a situation to which they are too close to see objectively, get support when patients, co-workers, school, and life in general is too, way too much.
If that is not how you read my post, Tim, then I would really like to apologize, and ask you to read more of the BB, offer your opinion when you feel so inclined. I did NOT mean to offend you.
Sep 18, '01Hi Tim, I know that you realize that emotions here are very raw from the happenings of the past week. I'm glad you peeked back in.
What kind of facility do you work in? It sounded like maybe LTC or rehab?
Please feel free to contribute here. We are all pretty much normal folks. You indeed are welcome.
Sep 18, '01Tim: I am also management and believe me I have learned a lot reading the postings of these nurses that are working the floors. I bring some of their ideas back to my staff. I have encouraged my staff to get on line and see what these nurses have to say. My staff knows my posts are under Spudflake. Some have come and read but I haven't seen any posts SO FAR!!! This forum is a great opportunity for management. I for one LOVE IT> These guys and gals are GREAT. I love the B*****ing!
Tim - these people are tired and very under appreciated where they work by many people - even their patients, clients, customers....What did you expect??
Nurses are under paid and over worked. They keep at it BECAUSE they LOVE IT. That's the only reason. There are so many opportunities out there for people today that don't involve working nights, weekends and holidays. That don't involve life and death decisions and caring. That don't involve cleaning up the stuff that nurses clean up EVERYDAY.
I for one say - let loose people...this is your forum
I also say Thank you! You guys are VERY open with your opinions and feelings. What comes across is the same theme nation wide. We are nurses, we tend to the sick and very ill. we help save lives, we work hard and are PROUD of what we do.
Tim, I am sorry if you can not see this in these wonderful nurses. As management I laugh and cry reading some of these posts but I appreciate the fact that these nurses are secure enough to post whatever they may be feeling.
Welcome Tim. Read, hear what they are saying and LEARN, Learn, Learn.
Sep 18, '01I'd like to comment on Tim's post. I'm the person he's so
afraid will hear/read nurses talk about their jobs and
decide not to pursue a nursing career, so I feel qualified
to respond. I'm not a nurse (yet). I'm taking the
courses necessary to apply for nursing school, so I'm
not a student nurse (yet) either. I found this web board
six months ago and spent a lot of time reading current
and archived posts. The people on this board are a big
part of why I know my decision to go into nursing is the
>>. . .If we portray our profession in a negative light,
>>then who wants to join??
I do. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I
appreciate the honest, raw truth about nursing from
the viewpoint of a nurse. I've read lots of descriptions
of nursing jobs that were obviously written by people
with marketing background. Not very useful. I'd rather
know the *truth* about what I'm getting myself into
before I get there, not afterwards. I'd rather be
proactive and prepare myself for what's out there instead
of being reactive and unhappy because it wasn't what
>>Nothing makes me angrier than when I hear the
>>statement "management doesn't care" or "we get no
>>support from management."
If the nurses you're managing are saying this, then what
are you doing to fix it? Are you angry because nurses are speaking out and saying what they feel? Are you part of
the solution? Again, what are you doing to fix the problems?
If you're talking about the posts here, then what are you
complaining about, exactly? It sounds like you're upset
about the fact that nurses feel this way and are verbalizing
it. That's not something you can change so you might as
well use it to your advantage. Step back and take a good
hard look at what these nurses are saying. Find a way to
fix/eliminate the common problems - chances are that's
happening in your facility too. Are you part of the solution?
What are you doing to help your nurses feel that manage-
ment cares about them and listens to their concerns?
>>I spend a lot of my time recruiting new staff.
Are you spending the same amount of time or more on
retaining the staff you already have? If you're recruiting
new staff to replace staff that left, then you're "bailing
water out of a leaking boat". What are you doing to fix
the problems that are causing your nurses to leave?
Do you even know why nurses are leaving, really?
>>Nothing is more frustrating than hiring a new staff
>>member and then having my staff treat them like dirt
>>when they go out onto the floor! Is this not counter-
Why is this happening? Is it not counter-productive to
continue to hire new nurses into a situation that you seem
to have no understanding or control over? Why do your
nurses act like this? Have you asked them and then really
*listened* to the answers? What have you done to fix
the problems that are causing your nuses to behave in
>>Patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to these
>>issues. Those without lots of patience probably do
>>not make the best managers.
Listening skills help.
>>I visit these forums regularly and read what other nurses
>>are saying about the profession... wow, sometimes I am
>>appalled by what I read.
I'm appalled that it's the same all over. I cannot believe
that hospital management doesn't seem to listen and
take the time to analyze the complaints and cries for help.
Here it is, for the whole world to see - just how crappy it
is to be a nurse in a hospital/health facility setting. Yet,
management seems to turn a deaf ear to what their nurses
are saying and writing.
>>I am surprised that a nurse would come on here to tell
>>the world how horrible her/his job is. This sure does not
>>lend to the idea of attracting new people to the profession.
This is not a place to attract new people into nursing. This
is a safe place to unload and vent. And a place to get
support and help.
>>I am a big believer in making people accountable for
>>their actions and making them look at something just
>>a bit more differently.
Then make yourself accountable for the fact that your
workplace is running nurses off!!!! Try to look at your
facility's problems a little differently. Try to figure out what
you can do to make it a better place to work. Try to think
of a way to make nurses want to stay and work there.
Blaming the nurses is the same old thing and it's not very
productive. Time to look at it differently, don't you think?
>>It is up to each individual to make the difference... remember,
>>an avalanche starts with just one rolling stone....
Looked in a mirror lately? *YOU* can make a difference.
*You* can make changes in your organization that help
make your facility a place that has to turn nurses away!
Really listen to your nurses, especially the ones that are
As you said:
>>If each individual is not part of the solution, then
>>obviously they must be part of the problem, right?
I've been an executive secretary/administrative
assistant/personal assistant for far too many years.
I've spent most of that career working for upper
management (CEO's, CFO's, VP's, and Presidents).
Believe me, I know how management works. Far too
many people in management spend too much time
talking and not near enough listening (really listening).
I could tell stories about some of the half-baked so-
called "solutions" that management would come up with
to solve problems that didn't exist. Meanwhile, the real
problems just got worse. Why? Because they only half-
Thank you if you've read this far. Thank you for posting.
Yes, I got your point that "generally nurses tend to
portray their jobs in a negative light". Please take the
time to consider that there is a reason for that. Then
take that knowledge and make some changes! You can
do it because you're in management. You said you've
come up the ranks, and you remember what it was like.
Take that knowledge and use it to make your facility an
outstanding example of the kind of place where nurses
want to be employed. You know, the kind of place where
nurse's do not even consider looking for another job!
Be a part of the solution, Tim.
Again, I appreciate this board and the honesty and
frustration of the people who post here.
Sorry to be so long-winded.
Sep 18, '01Most of you know me as I have been around for awhile. I am a student nurse and I really appreciate this board. It has given me an insight into the REAL world of nursing. Not the text book version that we are taught (although my instructors are very upfront and honest about it).
Tim, I read your post and think that you ARE a good manager. This board can give you alot of ideas to help make your place a better place to work. I understand that you have policies that you have to follow and it is those policies that seem to upset alot of the nurses that I have seen at this board.
I do have a question for you though. Are you an ACTIVE member of your state nursing association? The reason I am asking if you are active or not is I've noticed that there are those that pay their dues and watch and those that pay and are actively involved. Are you a DOER? If you are my "cap" is off to you. I strongly feel that if you are actively involved in your nursing association (attend meetings, work for the betterment of nursing etc.) then you are part of the solution. If you are not attending meetings then you are not a doer. This is for all nurses, not just you.
I like the idea of recruiting nurses, but telling the truth (all of it) is a big part of it. I went in with my eyes wide open, but when I hear the recruiting "speil" I only hear hints of the truth and it reminds me of when I went into the Air Force. The recruiters were full of promises, but when it came time to sign on the dotted line, for some reason, those promises weren't there. I went in anyway (am now a veteran) because I did my own research and my father was in also.
So please, for the sake of nursing, don't show them the bed of roses without letting them know that there are thorns on the stems too. This forum has shown me both and I love each and every nurse here for that!!!!
Sep 18, '01Well, Tim, First of all welcome to the BB. This is by far the best site on the web for nurses and nursing students alike. I have made many new friends from different parts of the country and in other countries as well.
Having been an RN for 4 years now, I have yet to work for a good manager. This past summer, myself and another RN who work 3-11 shift had our vacation requests denied. Our Head Nurse told us we did not have enough staff to allow myself a 7 day vacation at the beginning of July and the other RN a 7 day vacation in the middle of July. Yet, the RN's on Day and Night shift were granted THEIR vacation requests.. And guess what, I got mandated overtime TWICE IN ONE WEEK(an extra 16 hours) to cover 11-7 shift while those RNs' were on vacation!!!!! Is this fair? I hardly think so! Yes, we are in the midst of a severe nursing shortage but a manager should be able to figure out that they are not gonna be able to keep staff if they do not give EVERYONE their hard earned vacation! It has been OVER A YEAR since I have had a vacation!!!!! I am in desperate need of a vacation! But I digress.
I love nursing and there is nothing else I'd rather do. But darn it, I need a vacation too you know!
Sep 19, '01Well, here I am again... what is wrong with me??
I did want to reply to Silicone and some of the other most recent postings.
Yes, I am a member of the state nursing association and an active participant in the Nursing Summit Task Force for the State of Maine which is in place to address the recruitment and retainment of nurses in the state.
Thank you Silicone for taking the time to analyze my every word... geesh, you are too much!
I did read your entire letter and it does make sense to me. I am open minded and certainly not above receiving constructive criticism. I appreciate it actually. I am impressed with the time and effort involved in your reply as well.
I do want it to be known that I have been a manager for a long time and am very innovative in my thinking... especially when it comes to staff retainment. Retainment is key. I know that. I have been a DON for quite sometime, but am new to the facility I am located at now. The previous DON here had the attitude that "nurses were a dime a dozen" and that is how she operated, so you can well imagine that my adjustment period here over the past year has not been exactly smooth. I have put a lot of time and energy into building the nursing team and gaining their trust. We have worked together to improve morale and quite honestly... and I am not sure why a comment was made about my retention of staff being a problem... but, my retention here has shown great improvement over the past 6 months or so. I am pleased with the progress we have made.
Trust me, this little adventure on this BB has been an experience and a half for me. I was in no way expecting the response I got. And, I cannot believe how much can be read into one statement. I do, however, appreciate the fact that everyone was upfront and honest. That's great... and like I said, I have no problem with criticism. I was just not expecting so much of it all at once. Trust me, the job of DON is not an easy one.... as a few of you know... and regardless of some people's view of "management"... I am NOT one of the non-caring... money hungry... "fill the beds" type manager. My residents come first and my staff second. I am fortunate enough to work for a not-for-profit facility... opposed to my last DON position in a for-profit facility. The focus change has been awesome. I also am not totally responsible for the finances for the department... my primary focus is allowed to be on staff relations and smooth operations of my department. I am fortunate in that aspect.
P_RN... yes, I do work in long term care. I make rounds on the floor every morning. I get to spend a lot of my time "out there" with the staff and residents. I love being out there on the floor. It has taken the staff a while to get used to that, but it is going well. We are a dementia-focused facility and I love having that one focus. It is a great thing. (I do, however, wonder if dementia is contagious!) I have my moments... some days more than others. (yes, I have rough days too... just like everyone else.... there he goes... moaning and complaining just like the rest of them... )
So... that is it for now...
Sep 19, '01Everyone who submits ideas or opinions on this bulletin board has a right to do so.Thats what it is here for.You must realize if you post,that someone may not agree with your line of thinking,or maybe just a part of it,and they will say so. Thats okay.Its not a discussion if no one else responds.We won't learn anything if no one challenges us.My few comments on this particular thread may echo what has already been said. Some (not all) nurse managers, I believe, have forgotten the changes that have occurred over the past few years.Nurses who had 7 pts on days a few years ago could handle it fairly well.The pts were usually in various stages of recovery.Some acute,some midway,and some ready to go home, ..up walking the halls,showering, etc. Now,almost ALL of our pts are in the acute stage of illness.Almost as soon as they are awake from surgery,they are being pushed out the door.Yet,nurses are asked to push the limits and still care for the same amt.of pts with less staff.Long before there was a true shortage of nurses,there were cutbacks in staffing.Trying to cut the budget.Nurses WERE a dime a dozen, and we were taken advantage of.Many nurses left this profession.Too much stress,long hours of hard work,and very little appreciation;not to mention poor pay.This is what led to the real shortage.Nurses complained.No one listened; and they left.Now we have a true nursing shortage,and for other reasons than the one given above,I know.Listen to us when we say we need more help.If its not there,then say so. But don't say we are whiners, and must work smarter,etc.,etc.,etc..Have some compassion for us (and our poor pts who are the other losers in this condition).Nurses have to speak up and share their problems with one another. Just because we know the problem,doesn't mean we know the solution.This is one place we feel we can vent and share ideas.Know what it is like elsewhere.We need this place.I know this is longwinded.Please don't attack me.Speak your mind, but be kind when you do!
Sep 20, '01managers have completey different problems than the staff nurse. not that they are any worse or better. harder or not. just different. they answer to different people than we do and have different issues.
managers remember what its like in the trenches but they have a different perspective and focus. we dont worry about recruitment lin the same way management does. we are looking at the now picture. they are looking long term. they dont worry about patient care on the same level as we do.
dont expect us to see eye to eye. many of us resent management for their lack of concern in regards to OUR issues. at the same time we blatently dont care about their issues.
tim is right about nurses bashing the profession. ive always wondered why we do that. i just take it back to nurses eat their young. i encourage people to consider the profession. im not negative about it to the students. i love being a nurse. i just hate the ******** put on us by the management. from state boards all the way down.
in your post tim you openly resent our attitude. at the same time you seem upset that some of us resent yours.
all of us are looking at the same crooked picture. we are just seeing different ways to straighten it. but we all agree it needs to be straightened.
Sep 20, '01I do believe nurses are causing their problems. I've been a navy nurse for 10 years, and I know that when I leave the navy I'll leave nursing. If I took a civilian job I would be fired, because I would never put up with being treated like dirt and working like a dog with out any respect.
Good for the nurses who have moved on to a better future, pay, and working conditions.
Sep 20, '01I have to thank you "frustratedRN" and "NavyRN". I have to admit that I am enjoying myself here on this BB.
I am enjoying the fact that there are others out there who understand the frustrations of being a nurse... and at the same time love being a nurse. Do you think this is the same in any other profession?? Probably so... but not nearly as much.
There are so many days that I come home totally exhausted and think "gee, what did I accomplish today" and then there are those other days. I guess the good days make up for the bad.
I have to tell you that today was one of those great days. I had several awesome interactions with co-workers today. Shared a lot of stuff and left feeling better... both parties. These are the days that make it all worth while I guess.
I totally agree that you have a point, frustratedRN.... it is tough to get someone with a totally different focus to understand your focus. I do take that into consideration... and there are times that I am as frustrated as they are! But, in all honesty, I really do enjoy spending the time with the staff to which I have been assigned to oversee (is that politically correct?)
Thank you all here on this site... you are right... I am learning lots from each and every one of you... whether you agree or disagree with my comments. In the long run, it really does not matter who is wrong or right... it does not change the fact that we are all in this together.
I agree... there is a lot of straightening to be done... and it will get done sooner and more efficiently if we all work together.
Thank you all... Tim
Sep 20, '01See, I knew you'd LOVE us once you got to know us. (Said totally tongue in cheek-NOT)
Look forward to seeing you ......